TV2: Kent State Day at the Statehouse

Jasen Sokol

KentWired Video

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Kent State faculty, students, and administrators spent time in Columbus yesterday. It was part of the annual Kent State Day at the Statehouse.

“We’ve got the bona fides of a major research institution,” Kent State University President Lester Lefton said, rallying the troops at the start of Kent State Day at the Statehouse.

The university had a large presence on Capitol Square yesterday, as it showed its role in creating jobs.

One of the most prominently displayed departments was the Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship. Department Chair Pamela Grimm said she hoped to show what her department can do for the region.

“I think it’s critical for the university, in general, but, especially, the College of Business, to take on its responsibility as a player in the economic well-being of Northeast Ohio,” Grimm said.

John Rosbottom is the Executive Vice President of Manufacturing at W.S. Tyler Company in Mentor. He said Kent State students brought new ideas to his over-125 year old company.

“When we first connected with Kent State, we found an energy that we didn’t have,” Rosbottom said. W.S. Tyler was one of 40 companies that met with lawmakers on behalf of Kent State.

The theme of the day was talent meets jobs, and Kent State tried to put its best foot forward to show that it can create jobs for Northeast Ohio. But were lawmakers actually listening?

The exhibits in the Statehouse Crypt were not well-attended by lawmakers. But the Kent State Delegation met privately with over 20 members of the legislature.

One of them was Kathleen Clyde, seen here at a student roundtable earlier in the year. She said yesterday that her colleagues are taking notice of what is going on at Kent State.

“It’s got a great team of people to help advocate with legislators in Columbus, and I hear from Kent State people all the time,” Clyde said.

Rosbottom spoke to two lawmakers and said he thought Kent State’s message was well-received.

“They were very interested in how they could help support business and support education and connect education and business in Northeast Ohio,” Rosbottom said.

The University was not advocating any specific legislation, but President Lefton said Kent State is poised to provide administrative workers to the growing fracking industry in Ohio.

Contact Jasen Sokol at [email protected].